How to Stay Focused: A Guide to Becoming Productive
It’s easy to drift. Life is hectic for all of us and if we’re not intentional about our direction in life we can easily wake up one day and wonder how we got where we are. You sit down at your computer, determined to be productive. The next thing you know, it’s been twelve hours.
A common complaint I hear from people, men, in particular, is regret over not having done something in their life that they had always wanted or planned to do. It wasn’t their intention not to do it, but they also weren’t intentional enough to make sure it happened.
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Train your Brain on How to Stay Focused
Our brain is a complicated machine that operates frequently without our knowledge. Our subconscious mind, which stores all of our memories, sentiments, and neuro-associations, may be either our closest friend or worst enemy.
Being able to stay focused on a goal or direction despite all of life’s curveballs is a necessity for success. It’s the people who develop the skill of staying focused no matter what’s happening in their life who are successful. Less successful people have the tendency to allow the distractions of life to take them off course.
One of the main reasons this happens is because our minds can easily drift away from the present and off into the past or out into the future. Yet because it’s only by what we do today that we’re able to change our tomorrow that preventing this mind trap is so important. Unfortunately, our minds often tend to drift back into the past or off into the future when today is uncomfortable.
What is Focused and Attention?
Focus is just the act of paying attention selectively. You’re focused on a single task, but you’re also tuning out the plethora of other stimuli vying for your attention at the time.
The most valuable resource we have is our attention, which we can use to get things done. The ability to focus on one activity for a longer amount of time is unquestionably necessary for anyone who aspires to attract prosperity and success.
No matter what goals, profession, or work you are currently pursuing, a disciplined mind is critical for your success.
Here are the ways on how to stay focused and productive
Focusing on one item for a set length of time allows you to produce higher-quality work, complete more tasks faster, and generate more innovative ideas. Your mind will be less stressed if you concentrate on one task at a time. You’ll be happier if you’re less stressed.
1. Plan and Visualize a Few Critical Tasks on a daily basis
Our thoughts have an impact on our reality. Why? Feelings lead to action, and action leads to results because our thoughts generate feelings.
Establish one to three crucial responsibilities that must be completed throughout the day as part of your morning routine. Don’t think about them in a superficial way. Visualize them and imagine how you’ll feel when you’ve completed each task. If you sincerely believe in the success of your day, your subconscious will do everything it can to assist you in making your dreams a reality.
2. Figure Out When Your Busiest Hours Are
Some people are more productive during the day, while others are more productive at night. You should deliberately measure your performance during various hours of the day to determine your most productive hours — the “peak hours.”
While experimenting with varied work hours, pay attention to your energy, thought patterns, distractions, motivation, and moods. Allow at least a week for these peak hours to be established. So, if you strive to do your most critical chores between the hours of 8 and 10 a.m., give it a week. Focus your attention on key chores starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 12 p.m. the following week.
3. Do not multitask.
Since the brain can only completely focus on one job at a time, multitasking has been shown to decrease our cognitive ability. Even if multitasking has its advantages in certain cases, you should avoid it as much as possible when working on critical activities. To improve the quality and speed of your job, devote 100% of your focus to the task at hand.
4. Think of your mind as a muscle that has to be exercised.
When you want to gain muscular mass, what do you do? You work out. Not once, but on a regular basis. It takes practice to train your brain to stay focused. Every time you have a distracting thought, you must recognize it for what it is: a waste of time and attention.
You should push yourself a little harder whenever you feel like you “have to stop working.” If you’re having problems concentrating right now, don’t try to work for 60 minutes in a row. Gradually increase your attention levels. For the first two weeks, try focusing for 20 minutes, then taking a 5-minute break before starting over. You should be able to stay concentrated for 60 minutes in two months and accomplish a lot!
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5. Develop self-control and discipline
We are a small group of people who make genuine decisions. A choice is an agreement with your mind that your decision will stand regardless of what happens. As a result, if you say, “I should exercise,” substitute the word “should” with “must.” If you don’t do this, your brain won’t take your intentions seriously and won’t “care” to assist you.
Self-discipline and willpower are two connected attributes that should be developed at the same time. Your acts are powered by your willpower. Your ability to push past bothersome ideas, your comfort zone, and laziness define your discipline.
Few people tell you that these personal abilities require constant practice, that developing them is difficult, and that giving up is not an option.
6. Recognize your desire to be free of pain and to be happy.
When we do something, we do it for the pleasure of it or to escape the agony of it. Consider this: when kids have schoolwork to complete, they postpone because their subconscious minds perceive upcoming suffering. When the deadline approaches, they’ll take action to avoid the humiliation of obtaining a poor mark.
Take this example and apply it to your own life. Recognize your immediate response whenever you wish to concentrate on a task. Are you attempting to avoid suffering? Or are you seeking a good time? You’ll be able to take command once you’ve become the observer.
7. Stay Away From Distractions like Social Media
You can’t train your brain to stay concentrated until you eliminate distractions from your surroundings. For example, your phone should never be a source of distraction. Turn off your notifications, shout “NO” whenever someone interrupts you, and make a firm commitment to removing all distractions from your environment.
To increase your productivity stop scrolling on your Facebook, Twitter or doing other things on your smart or android phones during work hours, like playing music, surfing random stuff online, google questions, visiting websites for related tips.
8. Use Habits to Your Advantage
You won’t need your motivation or willpower to stay focused if you develop empowering habits. The pattern will be recognized by your mind, making your tasks easier. For example, when you brush your teeth and wash your face in the morning, you do so automatically and without exerting much effort, energy, or drive.
Giving yourself the freedom to do things in their natural ways will create power that will break distractions that will come along the way.
9. Make an effort to be mindful
Self-awareness is a prerequisite for mindfulness. Mindfulness is nothing more than concentrating all of your attention on the current moment. You can focus on your current thoughts and sensations, the surroundings around you, your breath, or your heartbeat. It doesn’t matter what you concentrate on; your mind is present as long as you’re “here,” “now.”
Mindfulness can be practiced in a variety of settings, including reading, working, studying, doing dishes, walking in the park, and the like. You’ll perform better in most situations if you keep your concentration on what’s going on right now.
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10. Take control of your own destiny by staying focused
The technique of harmonizing your thoughts, emotions, and actions is known as sovereignty. The majority of people lack sovereignty, which implies that their emotions are out of sync with their thoughts and behaviors.
For example, if you want to read a book today but immediately think it would be uninteresting, you will never actually read it. Taking action, on the other hand, will not be tough if you conceive of anything and feel good about it.
You can simply put this into practice if you are aware of it. As a result, keeping focused on your tasks and duties will be a breeze.
How to stay focused at work
Your important time and effort are lost forever when you can’t stay focused at work and become less effective. That’s the end of your momentum and creative zenith.
Because you won’t be able to shut out the world while working, specially during this pandemic, you’ll have to make the option to stay focused at work. Finding the proper approaches, identifying your priorities, and adhering to them are all important. Here are some effective ways to focus at work
1. Always Find the Fun in What You Do
Any meaningful work or routine requires a significant amount of concentration. Before you begin something, consider why you want to do it. With your response, you’ll get the output you want — and so you value the task.
Then look for ways to make the activity more enjoyable, such as incorporating your creativity and imagination into the process. Don’t limit yourself to “approved” production; keep your options open for new, exciting ideas.
2. Get Your Work Station Organized
Having too much stuff within arm’s reach or on top of your desk might be very distracting. Keep only the items you need on your desk neatly piled — put the rest away properly, such as in a desk drawer or shelves, to keep focused at work.
Make space for food and drinks, as well as your bag or purse and other personal belongings. However, keep them close at hand so you can get a sip without losing focus on what you’re doing.
3. Remove all distractions from your computer
This is essential for individuals who are always glued to their devices. Place all files related to each project or job in a single folder. Then, to avoid the inconvenience of scans and repairs, make sure your computer is constantly virus-free. These kinds of situations can make you feel stressed and allow you to keep interested in completing your work.
4. Keep Your Emails Organized add useful chrome extension
Email is another highly stressful and distracting activity. Let’s face it, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Likely a combination of personal and professional contact, promotions and updates from your websites, and, of course, spam.
Having a separate email address for business and one for personal email is an excellent approach to avoid this. Make sure they’re both turned on to filter all emails. When you have some free time, go through your emails again and unsubscribe from any senders you don’t need. Then, sort through the emails, you’ll be responding to later. Remove all the others.
5. Rethink how you use your phone.
Phones are for important needs, and long lunch breaks are for reminiscing about the previous night’s date. Following such a rule will assist you in remaining focused at work.
Instead of always tapping your back or crying out that you’ve received a call at any time, you may ask your coworkers to advise your callers that you’d get back to them later. Call the earlier callers back when you’ve finished your work and give them a quick explanation of your predicament.
Ask about their problem in the next two minutes, write it down, and tell them you’ll call them back to take the necessary action. Prepare and write down all of their pertinent information, keeping in mind their potential follow-up ideas on the subject. Then call them back, keeping the phone conversation to three minutes or less.
6. Select Suitable Music
The purpose of listening to music while working is to bring comfort and inspiration. Some people find that listening to music increases their adrenaline levels, allowing them to operate more efficiently.
However, not all types of music are enjoyable for everyone, and some are inappropriate for one’s mood. As a result, you should organize your music library correctly.
It’s all about improving your thinking. You will experience exactly what you “cultivate” until you let go of your thoughts, instant pleasures, anxiety, and misery. You harvest what you sow, as the saying goes.
This is a reference to the global cause-and-effect principle, which states that every thought, feeling, and action you do will have an effect. It’s entirely up to you whether it’s good or awful.
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Author: Dr. Kurt Smith
Dr. Kurt Smith is the Clinical Director of Guy Stuff Counseling & Coaching, a Northern California counseling practice that specializes in helping men and the women who love them. His expertise is in understanding men, their partners, and the unique relationship challenges couples face today. Dr. Kurt is a lover of dogs, sarcasm, everything outdoors, and helping those seeking to make their relationships better.
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